“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts” — Thich Nhat Hanh
Is a good diet your path to longevity? Obviously it’s important but how long can we survive without food? 2 weeks? 3 weeks?
We all know how important hydration is and how a lack of H2O throughout the day affects your physical and cognitive performance. So how long can we survive without H2O? 5 days? 10 days?
But at the core of the human physiology the one nutrient people are not talking about; Oxygen, O2. How long can we survive without O2? 1 minute — 2 minutes. You get the gist.
70% of our metabolic waste is eliminated through breathing. The other 30% is eliminated through perspiration, urination and deification. So if like me you think getting enough exercise and sweating regularly is important for your health, just think how important your breathing is, because 70% of the toxins are released from our bodies through our breathing.
Extensive research is showing that the life expectancy of an individual can be predicted by their breathing capacity; lung capacity is the single best indicator of how long you’ll live. Scary, right? Not if you have the tools to improve your breathwork. The benefits of breathing aka intentional breathwork are; focus, calm and non-reactiveness.
WELCOME TO BREATHWORK
It’s roots can be traced back as far as the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, in ancient India and the origins of yoga; Pranāyāmā (Hindu Science of Breath). The Sanskrit word Pranāyāmā comes from Prana (life energy) and Ayama (to extend, draw out). You’ll also find it in other forms of martial arts across the globe; Qigong, Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Russian Systema and Brazilian Jujitsu
Today in 2019, Breathwork is being used in the fields of self-improvement and personal development, and as a self-healing method in alternative medicine. Regarded as one of the most holistic and complementary approaches to healthcare, and it is an essential part to any genuine spiritual development journey The Wim Hoff Method.
Ifyou need to focus on something, start by focussing on your breath. If you need to control yourself, your mind, body, emotions, behaviour, then start by getting control of your breathing. — Dan Brulé
Breathwork focuses on the use of breath awareness and conscious breathing, for healing and growth, personal awakening, and transformation of spirit, mind and body. (Dan Brulé)
Virtually all psychologist and human development researchers agree up until the age of four or five years old, we receive programs that limit who we are; we receive conditioning about who we are, how we look at ourselves, how we think about each other, how we relate to the world.
And this conditioning is unconscious, directly downloaded into our subconscious. It affects how we perceive and what we think is possible. Our basic ideas of what is right and wrong are determined by this early conditioning, which by the way isn’t chosen, it’s directly instilled in us by parents, by culture, by society, by religion.
Memories and impressions are stored in our subconscious, and not just stored in our brain, but they are stored in the cells of our body. This is where breathing comes in; breathing activates and releases these impressions from the cells of our body. (Dan Brûlé)
So all of these unconscious beliefs, all of these memories that are stored in the cells of our body, they create blockages. This can often result in physical illnesses and diseases, and psychological and emotional problems. So how can we release these tensions in our body?
You guessed it, our breathing!
Breath therapy is a holistic approach to access and enhance the function and the operation of both the mind and the body. It works by regulating the rhythm of the breath, by the location of the breath, the speed of the breath.
To get an understanding of the benefits and implications of the breath here’s a partial list of situations and settings where breathwork is now being taught and applied, courtesy of Dr. Peter Litchfield, President of the Graduate School of Behavioural health Science;
Alternative healthcare, anger management, attention training, drug abuse prevention, drug rehabilitation, attention training, childbirth, chiropractic, dentistry, counselling, education, flight training, midwifery, martial arts, meditation, occupational therapy, pain management, peak performance training, meditation, physical therapy, public speaking, psychology, speech therapy, stress management and PTSD, yoga, and zen.
More and more people are waking up to the true value and benefits of breathwork and applying it in their everyday lives, at work and at home. Professionals are using it to create breakthroughs for themselves and people they serve. For spiritual seekers, its a direct path to spiritual awakening, self realisation and enlightenment. Thats’s why breathwork is a major skill set that high performing and successful individuals have mastered.(Dan Brulé).
Below are some links to exercises to experiment with, people to explore around the field of breathwork. Please enjoy and really take on board the information these folks have to share it’s truly transformative for your mental wellbeing, I can vouch for this.
Breathwork has allowed me to explore and experience all the aspects and levels of this amazing process; physiological, emotional, energetic and spiritual. Breathwork can re-wire the nervous system and change the way that your brain thinks.